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Panasonic, I have to sing your praise !

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by nianys, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. nianys

    nianys Mu-43 Regular

    Hi friends

    as a someone with an accute case of GAS, I've never been faithful to a brand or felt strongly loyal to any. Yes I mostly shot Canon and Nikon since I had DSLR's, but I loved my Fuji S Pros like crazy, and have had a few worthy Pentax, and even a digital Minolta. I had a couple of Olympus bridges ages ago (before DSLR even existed). I had never touched a Panasonic camera before researching mirrorless.

    I chose the GX-1 mostly on looks and reviews, cause I'm a sucker for sleek aesthetics, and I wanted the most mature mirrorless technology available at the time of my purchase (the E-M5 yet had to be announced... by a few days !).
    So all the opinions and feelings I express here are not due to any sort of brand loyalty, and even less fanboyism (or fangirlism in my case, lol), but just my fair and personal observations.

    Why this long disclaimer ? Because I just got my second Panasonic camera and am about to say how wonderful and impressive those babies are.
    My GX-1 has shows a definite magenta cast issue that impacted me very much at first. I even listed the camera and had a buyer for it. One hour prior to the appointment I called it off, because otherwise the camera is so darn good that I just couldn't stop trying to work it out. I've given up on cameras within hours in the past, if I felt I wasn't connecting with them, but this one made me WANT to walk the distance to make it work (I solved the problem entirely by adapting to it now).

    So after being so thoroughly impressed with the GX-1 (I think it's one of the cameras I've enjoyed shooting the most of all the ones I ever had), I tried two Oly bodies and had horrible experience with them. I'm not bashing Oly, their user interface is just designed for brains functionning in the total OPPOSITE direction of mine, is all. To me everything, from the menus, to ergonomics, to design decisions, is just illogical, impractical, upside down and downright maddening. Shooting them was a nightmare. OTOH, Panny seems to do everything like I would have designed it myself, so their cameras just seem totally natural, intuitive, and just genius to me.
    Anyway since I like to have two bodies and wanted one where I could use both a viewfinder (to focus manual lenses) and a flashgun, I bought a G3, which got delivered today.

    It's not halway as ugly or plain as people make it to be. It's a well designed, no nonsense camera, that does totally lack the sexy factor of the GX-1, but I do like the semi-matte black finish, the grip is quite nice, and the controls are very good (only the thumb wheel is a tad tight on my copy). Of course the articulated screen is a bonus, it feels sturday and is easy to operate.

    So how does it perform ? In one word : great. It works like a charm, is VERY similar in everything (IQ wise) to the GX-1, only the buffer seems not on par, the camera isn't capable of flushing the shots and display them nearly instantly like the GX-1 does (or maybe my copy is on the slow side).
    IQ ? What can I say. I LOVE this sensor. And I shoot jpg, too. I guess a picture is worth a thousand words, so here they are (day one with the camera) :

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    A snap in natural light.

    There has been a lot of talk about Panny skintones, no issue here, jpg file :

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    The PL25 never disappoints :

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    A good example of the "Leica rendering" that has been discussed here lately :
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    With flash :

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    And an attempt at manual focusing, which is less than ideal with the PL25 (fly by wire) but is much facilitated by the viewfinder :

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    So welcome to my G3, and I am very much looking forward to continuing to use Panasonic cameras in the future, they're doing a fine, fine job. Kudos Panny.
    • Like Like x 21
  2. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Lovely photos and welcome.

    I too am quite fond of the simplicity and natural feel of the GX1, in fact, it is one of the things I still miss so much since letting it go. I now shoot an Oly and my collection of lenses is a mix from both camps....my favorites are the PL25 and P7-14 ....but I also really enjoy my O45 on the rare occasion I use it.

    I will happily switch camera bodies between the 2 for as long as I am in MFT, who knows....a well thought out and innovative GX-pro or GX2 may be my next camera. Fwiw....I think many of the differences are blown out of proportion, especially the JPEGs.....IMO it is so exaggerated that it is preposterous ! But to each their own.
    Lenses is where it's at as far as I am concerned and it'll take something extraordinary to get me to part with the PL25 or P7-14 and I suspect they will see many more bodies, both Oly & Panasonic. To be honest, I'm more excited by a rumored Pana Leica 17.5 f1.4 than any rumored future body !!!

    Yeah....Pana does just fine, especially for a dishwasher company ;) 

    It's great that you've found harmony with your gear and I look forward to seeing many more of you images......but I think you are ruined without IBIS ;) 
    • Like Like x 1
  3. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Glad to see you're enjoying your m4/3 gear! I have the same G3 and GX1 pair and I enjoy both very much.

    You mentioned an issue with magenta cast, is that a WB issue or something else? Personally I found my Panasonics are a little cooler than I like, and I've adjusted both to use auto white balance with a custom setting that's pushed one notch towards amber and one towards magenta. Since making that change I can count on my hands the number of shots I've felt the need to tweak the WB, where I used to adjust every photo. Obviously it's a personal preference, but I was just wondering if you've tried customizing the white balance to suit your taste.
  4. nianys

    nianys Mu-43 Regular

    Yes, assuming you're talking about GX-1/G3 vs E-M5, I think the IQ difference, is very, very slight. The DR advantage looks VERY real in the E-M5 though, BUT, as much as I'd love that great DR, I'm NOT willing to fight beak and nails with a camera to obtain it, and fighting is what Oly cams seem to have me doing, so thanks, but no thanks. I too place a lot of hope in future Panny models, though to be perfectly honest, even if the GX-1 and G3 were not "upgraded" for a couple of years, they still wouldn't put any limitation on my photography, I'd still be the weak link I think.
    However, as technology marches on (and can't seem to be stopped or slowed down), I'm game for future faster tracking cameras for moving targets, and a yet wider selection of good lenses.
  5. nianys

    nianys Mu-43 Regular

    Yes, both cams now have tweaked WB in both Auto and the Kelvin setting I use for indoor flash shots. Both are pretty spot-on now, but the GX-1 required a +2 Amber +1 Green to get rid of the annoying cast. It can still show up a bit in very bright sun, in which case I correct in post.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 15, 2011
    Aberdeen Scotland
    I feel the same, in the UK you can get a G3 body for £330 and this month Pany are offering £50 cashback so a new G3 body is £280 delivered, if that isn't the best deal camera currently on the market I don't know what is.
    I love my G3 and while was pondering getting a G5 once released think I'll just get another G3 as a second camera, it does pretty much everything I want and I like the ergonomics.

  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Welcome and your images are lovely.

    I couldn't agree more. I have had a number of Olympus and Panasonic cameras and I always come back to Panasonic because of their superb UI and handling and IMHO outstanding IQ. I am an EE GX1 owner and I have been very impressed with it and I also have found it's JPEGs to be absolutely terrific. If you like the PL25 you should give the PL45 a go. :biggrin:
  8. brunerww


    Mar 5, 2011
    Interesting. My GH1/GH2 needed to go towards Magenta and away from Green. In any case, I'm glad you found settings that work for you.

    Great post. I'm not a fanboi either, but, objectively, Panasonic has done an amazing job of getting up to speed in the consumer interchangeable lens camera business. It is easy to forget that their first MFT camera, the G1, was introduced in September 2008, less than 4 years ago. And now others are following their lead (see the touchscreen and video autofocus on the T4i/650D - and the entire EOS-M concept).

    Looking forward to the GH3 - and the next phase of the mirrorless revolution.

    Hybrid Camera Revolution
  9. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    It's strange how we can react so differently to our gear. I have been using Panny and Oly m4/3s cameras interchangeably for a few years now, and I don't mind going back and forth nor do I really have a preference as far as UI goes. (truth be told I prefer Canon's DSLR UI :eek: )

    While I am a big fan of the GF1, GF3 and GH1, I really disliked the G3 I owned (briefly). E-PL1, E-PM1 and E-M5 on the Oly side have all been winners for me. None of the Panny's I've owned, except the GF3, have been strong on JPEGs. Feel like I'm chasing settings a bit to get in the Oly ballpark, which has always been automatic for me. But that is not a deal breaker.

    I truly don't understand anyone having such strong feelings about one of these companies vs the other, but that's what makes this hobby interesting. If we all agreed on everything it would be pretty boring around here.
  10. nianys

    nianys Mu-43 Regular

    I really have no feeling whatsoever towards either corporations ! My liking of Panny cameras and dislike of Oly ones is strictly based on my shooting experience with both, and I totally understand and accept it's the other way around for other people, because our brains are not all wired the same way.
    Just like you I am very baffled by people having strong, emotional feelings toward a brand to the point of defending it against all logical and founded criticism. This particular board seems rather immune to that, or at least brand preferences are expressed with respect and manners, and do not imply bashing the competition, thanks goodness. Fanboyism has turned some other boards into septic tanks.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    Beautiful photos as always! You are really making me want that 25mm/1.4 lens! :smile:
    I was going crazy trying to decide whether to get G3 or GX1 with viewfinder. Finally got the GX1, but I am really liking using the viewfinder and wondering if it's better to just have one built-in. Do you use your GX1 with viewfinder? Do you find it more or less comfortable than using the G3 with its inner VF?
  12. nianys

    nianys Mu-43 Regular

    Really, if I had to chose between the 2 cams, I'd still go with the GX-1 in a hearbeat. The joy starts even before you start shooting it. Sheer handling it is pleasurable.
    Now, regarding EVF's, let me start by saying... I kinda hate both. Even tweaked to be as faithful to actual lightning conditions, and as useful as possible to determine proper exposure, they still look over contrasty, harshly lit, and scorch my eyeballs. This being said, I find them very similar in look, feel, and use.
    Hating it the way I do, it's a blessing I can detach ot from the GX-1. OTOH, the VF doesn't stick out like a sore thumb on the G3, all the opposite it has a low profile and fits well in the camera's figure. I got the G3 so I could use BOTH the VF and a flashgun (for focusing manual lenses in low light). So to answer your question I doon't really like using one over the other, and unless you need the hotshoe for two different applications, the GX-1 is still my preferred camera.
  13. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    As far as I can recall, you do go by Marla2008 on DPR, correct?

    I swear that little girl looks familiar.

    Anyhow, welcome to a more same community.
  14. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Hopefully you meant sane, not same. :) 

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
  15. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    I thought she looked familiar! Yes, this is a very nice community. I left DPR behind, as I felt like I was walking into a game of mean dodge ball every time I visited that forum. :wink:

    Sent from my ADR6350 using Tapatalk 2
  16. nianys

    nianys Mu-43 Regular

    You got that right. And after over 10 years of uninterrupted membership and contribution to DPR, the m4/3 board is sadly the one that sent me off running and screaming. I got bullied there like never in my life... Now guess what ? Ever since I've discovered both m4/3user and e-p1.net I've hardly taken a glance at the old madhouse, let alone posted anything (though apparently they finally decided to moderate it a bit, too late !).
    This place feels like heavens of civility and niceness. I'm not going anywhere !! :) 
  17. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    Oops. SANE.
  18. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    Good to see you here Marla! You were one of a few members I missed when I left DPR. :smile:

    Sent from my ADR6350 using Tapatalk 2
  19. RobertinArabia

    RobertinArabia Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 6, 2012
    Dear Felix, Thanks for your blog efforts. My panasonic adventures began a month of so ago when I found that it was no longer possible to get film processed and scanned HD to CD in Khobar. I purchased a GF2 w 14-42 for 1600 SAR. I wanted the EVF and visited the main Panasonic store. They did not have it. I checked out their lenses and saw the 20mm F1.7 was available for 2400 SAR. Ouch! In their camera case I saw they had a GF1 with the 20mm F1.7 for 1050 SAR. Guess what I did!
    Last night kept searching for the EVF and ran across site that searches inventories in Arabia. No EVF. But there seems to be one G1 in Riyadh with the 14-45 for low price.

    They don't answer the phone.

    If I can get it, al bases will be covered from video to making it possible to use a possible Samyang 7.5 the way I want to use it.

    After I got the GF2, I ran into the only Olympus PL1 in the kingdom. It included the 14-150 lens.

    I found that i could buy the lens alone for 2400 SAR in New York City or the kit here four 1500 SAR.

    If I only could sell some more photos on Alamy, my life would be complete.
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